What is the "American Dream" in The Great Gatsby? Where did the concept originate and how it changed over the centuries?
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The American Dream has been around since people first set foot on the continent, in a way. America has always been the land of opportunity. When the westward expansion began to take place, the idea of Manifest Destiny meant that people believed that they could have what they wanted.
The "American Dream" in The Great Gatsby is coming from poor and becoming rich. This is what Gatsby did. Even though he was "new money" and was not respected by the "old money" he still made his life and reached his goals, excluding Daisy as a goal, of course. I believe the concept of this "dream" originated in the colonists that came here from England. Wanting to own your own land, and have money has always been the dream. Its called the "American Dream" because we are the "Land of Opportunity". This dream is featured as a theme in many modernists novels. Another great example of this is Of Mice and Men by Steinbeck. Both The Great Gatsby and Of Mice and Men show the emptiness and the disbelief in the "American Dream".
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